Statement attributable to Assistant Secretary Scott Connolly,

The closure of Altona’s Exxon Oil Refinery will put 350 working Australians’ jobs at risk, after 70 years of service to the people of Victoria and our Nation.

These workers were not even offered the dignity of being informed first by their employer through the proper channels, but instead found out through an anonymous leak to the media.

Australia has suffered too many significant closures in the advanced manufacturing industry in recent years, with thousands of workers left behind and very little being done to create new, secure jobs for Australians.

Our country has weathered an economic, social and health crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic – the last thing working Australians need is more uncertainty and stress.

The pandemic has clearly demonstrated the weakness and vulnerability of our supply chains in critical sectors of our economy, including fuel supply, but instead of stimulating Australia’s manufacturing sector and strengthening our domestic capabilities, the Morrison Government is standing by letting sectors be shut down with massive ramifications in down-stream industries.

Australia’s ExxonMobil workers have been named number 1 in the world by their employer, they are highly skilled and have transferability across other critical and emerging sectors of the economy such as renewable energy.

To date, the Morrison Government is doing little to try and keep advanced manufacturing jobs in Australia. We need more secure, high quality domestic advanced manufacturing opportunities for these highly skilled workers, their families and the Morrison Government urgently do more before more jobs are lost.